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Green Building News

Smart Glass Maker Opens New Plant

SageGlass begins manufacturing electrochromic glass at a new facility in Minnesota

SageGlass can be tinted electronically to reduce solar gain and cut cooling loads. A new plant in Minnesota can produce sheets of the smart glass in sizes up to 5 ft. by 10 ft.
Image Credit: SageGlass

The manufacturer of a type of glass that can be electronically tinted has opened a new manufacturing plant in Minnesota that can produce 4 million sq. ft. of glass a year in sizes up to 5 ft. by 10 ft.

SageGlass said the 324,000-sq. ft. plant in Faribault, Minn., is the largest of its kind in the world. It was built to LEED Silver standards.

The company said it had made a number of improvements in the glazing, not only in the maximum size of the panels but in its aesthetic appearance. The glass, which is available in a number of different tints, has a laminated construction that makes it stronger than previous versions, according to the company.

The glass can change from clear to a fully tinted state in 15 minutes or less. Visible light transmittance at the center of the glass can be manipulated from 62% in its fully clear mode to 2% fully tinted. By controlling the amount of sunlight and heat that enters a building, the glass can reduce the cooling load by 20%, SageGlass says.

It takes 0.28 watts of energy per sq. ft. to change the light transmittance of the glass, but only 0.1 watts per sq. ft. to maintain a tint. On average, the company says, 2,000 sq. ft. of glass can be controlled with the same amount of energy consumed by a 60 watt light bulb.

Sage has partnerships to make residential windows with H Window Company, Marvin Windows and Weather-Tek Design Center.

SageGlass was founded in 1989 and is now owned by Saint-Gobain.

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